AI

Smartphone technology to be used for early detection of kidney disease

Patients will now be able to use their smartphone camera as a tool to detect early kidney disease.

The Covid-19 pandemic has revolutionised the medical industry, sparking innovative digital solutions that allow people to access individual health care without leaving their homes.

With chronic kidney disease affecting approximately 1 in 10 people in the UK, a new testing and technology app has been designed to reduce trips to the GP and hospital.

The NHSX, the digital transformation arm of the NHS, is collaborating with Healthy.io to offer thousands of patients technology-supported home-testing kits over the next three years.

Around 3,500 patients have already received their kits.

Over 500 000 patients who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, and early kidney complications are set to benefit from Artificial Intelligence Technology.

Healthy.io will allow people to use their smartphone camera to test, scan, and share their results with doctors within minutes.

Patients taking part receive a test kit and smartphone app.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

”This is another brilliant example of how innovative technologies are transforming healthcare and improving lives. Patients can receive a diagnosis sooner, saving time for clinicians so they can spend more time on treatment, and ultimately saving more lives through earlier diagnosis.

This innovation is another step forwards in making high-quality healthcare more accessible – in some cases without leaving the comfort of your own home.”

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

“Artificial intelligence holds enormous potential for the NHS and in many areas is already providing radical benefits for patients and clinicians.

The use of this latest testing technology is another huge step forward enabling us to provide earlier diagnosis of disease and improve patient care and treatment outcomes while also freeing up NHS staff.

The technology is one of 42 innovations that are being supported by the first round of the AI in Health and Care Award programme, managed by the Accelerated Access Collaborative in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research.

In a project at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, the team found that by allowing people with type 1 diabetes to self-test at home, the testing rate rose from 0% to 79% among the consented untested population. Almost 1 in 5 were found to have abnormal or highly abnormal results.”

Dr David Lipscomb, diabetes clinical lead at Sussex Community Foundation NHS Trust, said:

“The service has enabled us to identify and prioritise follow-up care for people who may have early-stage chronic kidney disease that could have otherwise gone undetected.

It allows us to offer our patients a new way of engaging with their care that is more convenient for both patients and staff.

With Healthy.io’s CKD Early Detection Service, people receive a test kit by mail, which includes a standard urine dipstick, a urine collection pot and a patented colour board. An app guides the user through the test, which includes scanning the dipstick on the colour board using a standard smartphone camera.

Using AI and colourmetric analysis, the app is able to read the dipstick results equivalent to a lab-based device. Results are then shared instantly with the individual’s GP practice, which can follow up if there is an abnormal result.

During the ongoing pandemic, by offering at-home tests to populations at higher risk, such as those living with diabetes, the NHS can provide an easy alternative to visiting the clinic.

The technology is being tested and evaluated over a 3-year period to explore its benefits at scale before a potential roll-out across the NHS.”

Dr Indra Joshi, Director of AI at NHSX, said:

“Technologies like this have great potential to identify serious disease earlier and can empower people to make the lifestyle changes needed to help better manage their condition.

Enabling people to self-test at home using their smartphone’s camera can ease the burden on frontline services whilst encouraging uptake of an important test that is far easier to conduct at home.

Through the AI Award we are testing some of the most promising AI-based innovations to see if the NHS should consider spreading them on a much larger scale to even more patients.”

Katherine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director of UK and Europe, Healthy.io, said:

“Chronic kidney disease is a silent killer and has a major impact on society, yet very few people are aware of its dangers. Early detection of the disease from the comfort of home will help people avoid dialysis or transplant and will be a huge cost saving for the NHS.”

Article Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smartphone-technology-in-bid-to-revolutionise-early-detection-of-kidney-disease

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